Dictionary: BEA'DLE – BEAM'-TREE

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BEA'DLE, n. [Sax. bydel or bædel; Fr. bedeau; Sp. bedel; It. bidello; Ger. büttel, pedell; Sw. bodel, a beadle, or lictor; from the root of bid, Sax. beodan, to order or command. See Bid.]

  1. A messenger or crier of a court; a servitor; one who cites persons to appear and answer; called also an apparitor or summoner. – Encyc.
  2. An officer in a university, whose chief business is to walk with a mace, before the masters, in a public procession; or, as in America, before the president, trustees, faculty and students of a college, in a procession, at public commencements. – Encyc.
  3. A parish officer, whose business is to punish petty offenders. – Johnson.


The office of a beadle. – Wood.


One who makes beads. In French, paternostriee is one who makes, strings, and sells beads. In Paris are three companies of paternostriers; one that works in glass or crystal; one, in wood and horn; a third, in amber, coral, &c. – Encyc.


Spirit is bead-proof, when, after being shaken, a crown of bubbles will stand, for some time after, on the surface, manifesting a certain standard of strength. – Encyc.


Among Catholics, a list or catalogue of persons, for the rest of whose souls they are to repeat a certain number of prayers, which they count by their beads. – Encyc.


A man employed in praying, generally in praying for another. – Johnson.


A praying woman; a woman who resides in an alms-house. – Ash.


The azedarach, a species of melia, a native of the Indies, growing about 20 feet high, adorned with large pinnated or winged leaves, and clusters of pentapetalous flowers. – Encyc.

BEA'GLE, n. [Fr. bigle, so named from littleness; W. bac, little; Ir. pig; It. piccolo. We have from the same root boy, and the Danes pige, a little girl, and probably pug is the same word. Qu. Gr. πυγμαιος, a pigmy.]

A small hound, or hunting dog. Beagles are of different sorts; as, the southern beagle, shorter and less, but thicker, than the deep-mouthed hound; the fleet northern, or cat beagle, smaller, and of a finer shape than the southern. From these species united, is bred a third, still preferable; and a smaller sort is little larger than the lap-dog. – Encyc.

BEAK, n. [D. bek; W. pig; Ir. peac; Arm. bek; Fr. bec; Sp. pico; It. becco; Dan. pig, pik; Sw. pigg, pik; Sax. piic; Fr. pique; Eng. peak, pike, &c. The sense is, a shoot, or a point, from thrusting; and this word is connected with a numerous family. See Class Bg.]

  1. The bill, or nib of a bird, consisting of a horny substance, either straight or curving, and ending in a point.
  2. A pointed piece of wood, fortified with brass, resembling a beak, fastened to the end of ancient galleys; intended to pierce the vessels of an enemy. In modern ships, the beak-head is a name given to the forepart of a ship, whose forecastle is square or oblong; a circumstance common to all ships of war, which have two or more tiers of guns. – Mar. Dict. Beak or beak-head, that part of a ship, before the forecastle, which is fastened to the stem, and supported by the main knee. – Encyc.
  3. In farriery, a little shoe, at the toe, about an inch long, turned up and fastened in upon the fore part of the hoof. – Farrier's Dict.
  4. Any thing ending in a point, like a beak. This in America is more generally pronounced peak.

BEAK, v.t.

Among cock-fighters, to take hold with the beak. – Ash.


Having a beak; ending in a point, like a beak.

BEAK'ER, n. [Ger. becher.]

A cup or glass. – Johnson.


A bickern; an iron tool, ending in a point, used by blacksmiths. – Ash.

BEAL, n. [See Boil. W. bal, a prominence.]

A pimple; a whelk; a small inflammatory tumor; a pustule. – Johnson. Ash.

BEAL, v.i.

To gather matter; to swell and come to a head, as a pimple. Johnson. Ash.

BEAM, n.1 [Goth. bagms, a tree; Sax. beam; G. baum; D. boom, a tree; Dan. bom, a bar or rail; Ir. beim, a beam. We see by the Gothic, that the word belongs to Class Bg. It properly signifies the stock or stem of a tree; that is, the fixed, firm part.]

  1. The largest, or a principal piece in a building, that lies across the walls, and serves to support the principal rafters. – Encyc.
  2. Any large piece of timber, long in proportion to its thickness, and squared, or hewed for use.
  3. The part of a balance, from the ends of which the scales are suspended; sometimes used for the whole apparatus for weighing. – Encyc.
  4. The part on the head of a stag, which bears the antlers, royals and tops.
  5. The pole of a carriage, which runs between the horses. – Dryden.
  6. A cylinder of wood, making part of a loom, on which weavers wind the warp before weaving; and this name is given also to the cylinder on which the cloth is rolled, as it is wove.
  7. The straight part or shank of an anchor.
  8. In ships, a great main cross timber, which holds the sides of a ship from falling together. The beams support the decks and orlops. The main beam is next the mainmast. – Mar. Dict.
  9. The main piece of a plow, in which the plow-tails are fixed, and by which it is drawn.
  10. Beam compass, an instrument consisting of a square wooden or brass beam, having sliding sockets, that carry steel or pencil points; used for describing large circles, and in large projections for drawing the furniture on wall-dials. – Encyc. Johnson. On the beam, in navigation, signifies any distance from the ship, on a line with the beams, or at right angles with the keel. – Mar. Dict. Before the beam, is an arch of the horizon between a line that crosses the ship at right angles, or the line of the beam, and that point of the compass which she steers. – Mar. Dict. Beam ends. A vessel is said to be on her beam ends, when she inclines so much on one side that her beams approach a vertical position. – Mar. Dict. Beam-feathers in falconry, the long feathers of a hawk's wing. – Bailey.

BEAM, n.2 [Sax. beam, a ray of the sun; beamian, to shine or send forth beams; Sam. bahmah, splendor; Ir. beim, a stroke, and solbheim, a thunderbolt.]

A ray of light, emitted from the sun, or other luminous body.

BEAM, v.i.

To emit rays of light, or beams; to shine. He beam'd, the day star of the rising age. – Trumbull.

BEAM, v.t.

To send forth; to emit.


In Yorkshire, England, the pettychaps, a species of Motacilla, called in Dorsetshire, the hay-bird. – Encyc. The spotted fly-catcher, a species of Muscicapa. – Ed. Encyc.


  1. Radiation; the emission or darting of light in rays.
  2. The issuing of intellectual light; dawn; prophetic intimation; first indication. Such were the beamings of an original and gifted mind. – T. Dawes.

BEAM'ING, ppr.

Emitting rays of light or beams.


Emitting no rays of light.


A species of wild service. – Johnson. The Cratægus Aria. – Cyc.